Following on from our previous article (Using technology in the sales cycle), we have drafted up a 12 point checklist to help guide people through the common issues relating to the procurement and implementation of CRM software.
- The first is to look at your existing marketing strategies and what is working? If everything is going fine, without the use of technology, then thought would need to be given into whether the implementation of new technology would enhance the process anyway. If direct mail works for your business then don’t change it, but you could add a special online offer to track responses through traffic on the website. To measure different marketing strategies go to our download section. (marketing mix download) (Marketing Series)
- If a CRM solution is required, then careful consideration should be given to the type of software deployed. Simply going for name brands maybe like smashing wall nut with a sledgehammer. It may be too complicated for the task at hand when something simpler would suffice. On the other side, going for the cheaper options means they are less likely to put the money into R&D so the functionality may soon be out of date. Going back to your marketing plan is always a good point of reference. To assist in this process we developed a free download to compare different software options. (software comparison download)
- Match the fields, and field names against your business model. Use terms that are generic to your industry so that not only your current staff, but future incumbents will also be familiar with its meaning. Generic software also have their own terms, with specific functionality attached. These need to be understood and applied appropriately. Fields such as “Activities” could relate to diary appointments or assigning tasks. Mistranslation here could lead to unexpected results down the line.
- There are three basic fields every CRM system should have. The first is a contacts status, whether lead or customer (warm or hot depending on likelihood). This used to track future pipelines against probability of conversion. Line of business is used track growth patterns by sector to target marketing campaigns and special enticements. Most importantly the source, where the contact came from. This allows a business to measure the return on a business’s marketing activities. I spend about one third of my time going to different networking events. I need to judge how many leads come from which events, the monetary worth of that potential contract and the conversion rate. The hours I spend is applied against a set rate (as if I engaged someone to do on my behalf) and that is charged against that income to reflect a true cost of sale. I work in the service industry so my unit of cost is time.
- The next is to keep the user experience as simple and as straight forward as possible. Sales reps are not the most patient people in the world and admin is not their strong point. The best systems are the ones that are intuitive to use at the front end, while the backend is doing all the heavy lifting. (Sales Reps – Like them or loathe them!)
- If your CRM system connects with your accounting module you should be able to see which of you market segment is the most profitable. Seeing the customer ledger and sales history allow the ability to predict future patterns based on what has come before. If you work in the medical equipment industry are you selling more of this type directly to hospitals and how much too private practices? If figures are below your expectation you can then make decisions on targeting customers with special offers, adapting pricing, or maybe even withdrawing from that market.
Next in the series the final 6 points for implementing sales CRM software:
We will be hosting a seminar on using technology in sales on the 28th of January 2016. Find out more here- Seminar: Using Technology to Drive Sales
[wp_cart_button name=”Secure Your Place Now” price=”5.00″]